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Old December 3, 2021, 01:58 PM   #1
lugerstew
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Is this from not annealing?

I started shooting my Remington 700, 308 last week, and with 2 different 168 grain bullets, cfe223 new batch of powder and also does it with Lapua and Hornady brass, both loaded several times.
I am just confused, because I have shot these loads last year and never had sooting, and now it is sooting bad, but also strange is it only does it with CFE223 powder that I just purchased 5 pounds online about a month ago.
Could a powder problem actually cause this, or like I said, am I trying to get too many reloads out of brass that never has been annealed?
It has done this with my gun with 20 rounds through it after cleaning, and also did the same thing with about 90 rounds since being cleaned.
Several other kinds of brass and Imr 4064, and Reloder 15 had no problems, no sooting.
I am thinking of taking these latest Lapua rounds apart, which I only shot 3 out of the 30 of them and try loading them in some once fired Hornady brass, which still should be not work hardened and see if it stops.
Also I have been trimming my brass every time now, to .005 less than minimum, 2.000 instead of 2.005. Could this be causing the sooting?
Thanks for any advice
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Old December 3, 2021, 02:41 PM   #2
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I believe sooting on cases is caused by low pressure and the brass not sealing. I'd give the chamber a clean and see if that helps the brass seal better. Make sure the chamber is dry before firing. Depending on where you're at in the book, charge weight wise, upping the charge could help in 2 areas, providing more pressure to seal the brass, and providing more pressure for the powder, helping it burn better. Of course, only do this if it's safe to do so.

Annealing could also help, and might be something easier to try than messing with your load

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Old December 3, 2021, 03:05 PM   #3
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nhyrum: I suppose the chamber could have had some solvent or oil in it, because I gave it a thorough cleaning yesterday. But if that was the case, why did some rounds with 168g bullets and Reloder 15 shoot fine, right before the CFE223, then some 155g rounds shot just fine right after the CFE223 with Imr4064, no sooting at all?
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Old December 3, 2021, 03:39 PM   #4
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Not saying it caused the sooting, but just make sure it's dry before testing after cleaning. Not just cleaning the barrel, but the chamber too (I know you mentioned cleaning, not sure if that was just the barrel or the chamber too) I don't suspect it being dirty is the sole culprit, but it's one of those easy things that can be eliminated.

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Old December 3, 2021, 03:47 PM   #5
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I'm not familiar with CFE223, but it could be due to how the pressure curve develops with that particularly powder.

It may have a slow initial curve that allows sooting before the pressure rises enough to adequately seal the case to the bore.
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Old December 3, 2021, 04:37 PM   #6
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Ya, and I also have about 3 things working against me, Im shooting these at probably lower temps than what they were when they made the load data, my brass has several firings, so Im sure they are work hardened some, and also I am extending the coal on all these to .040 to .060 further out than what the book calls for, which probably also reduces pressure, but still, I have done this for years without problems, and now all of a sudden this new batch of CFE223 is giving me fits.
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Old December 3, 2021, 04:52 PM   #7
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If the only variable that changed was the powder, and it only does it with that powder, I would look to the powder first. CFE 223 is a ball powder and they are harder to ignite than many extruded powders. If you are toward the bottom of the charge weights, I would experiment with increasing the powder charge.
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Old December 3, 2021, 05:54 PM   #8
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The usual problem seen with work hardened cases is splitting at the case mouth when sizing or when seating bullets. I shoot 165 SGK SP over 46 gr CFE223 lit by a CCI 200. Good for 2,784 avg/7.7 std out of a rebarreled (24") Mauser. COL 2.765. Never got any soot.

What charge of CFE223 are you using? Do you see, feel, hear anything unusual firing yours? Velocity and accuracy what you expect? If all is good, it might be something in the chamber as has been suggested. If there is any anomaly, it is unusual but not unheard of to get a bad batch of powder or primers.
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Old December 3, 2021, 06:10 PM   #9
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your cases allowed some leakage past the case until they tightly sealed the chamber. My guess is low start pressure, like Kilo suggested try increasing the load or switching primers to a primer with increased brisiance like a Rem 7.5
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Old December 3, 2021, 06:17 PM   #10
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I would suggest pulling some of the bullets and weighing the powder charge to make sure you actually have the grains of powder in there that you think you have.
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Old December 3, 2021, 06:31 PM   #11
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I had this trouble a week ago, with 168g horn bthp, and nosler 168g cc, but these were 43.5g and 44g.
Todays sooting was with 168g sierra hpbt, 47g and a coal of 2.920, I guess that is .110 longer than load data of max 2.810, but I was trying to do a Coal test from 2.920 down to 2.850, maybe that is part of the problem.
Like everyone suggests, I think I need to prove that this is not a new lot of powder problem, by starting over, working up to a higher charge etc, and maybe even retiring my Lapua and Hornady brass which has been loaded and never annealed over a dozen times.
I wonder if I should call Hodgdon and see if there are any recalls on this Lot of CFE223 that I just bought, that just started causing troubles, I loaded and shot several of these same CFE223 loads last January, different lot number, with no issues, this makes me suspicious.
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Old December 3, 2021, 06:44 PM   #12
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I like your suggestion of trying the same load with some new brass.
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Old December 3, 2021, 06:56 PM   #13
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according to the Hodgdon data starting load is 46.6

46.6 2,662 48,200 PSI 49.0 2,828 60,400 PS

you need more power as Tim the toolman used to say, also I will cut you a deal on a used Annealeeze should you ever be in the market for one
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Old December 3, 2021, 07:29 PM   #14
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CFE223 leaves a strange looking soot in the bore and chamber when I use it. Hard to describe, the only word I can think of is "strange". I've only used it in .223. I don't have a .308. I find it to be very accurate in .223 with 52 grain bullets.
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Old December 3, 2021, 09:52 PM   #15
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Last winter the same thing happened when I loaded some 243 rounds with WW Staball and some other rounds using Hybrid. Same everything except powder. It was right at 40 degrees and the rounds were at outdoor temp. The Staball loads were way under velocity and the cases came out of the chamber looking just like the ones in your picture. The Hybrid loads produced expected velocity and the cases came out mostly clean. I blamed poor ignition and gave up on Staball for hunting rounds.
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Old December 4, 2021, 02:47 AM   #16
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Looks to me like you definitely have gas escaping down the chamber--look at the burn in the rim recess where the gas was escaping into the bolt/receiver. Your cases have an odd ring in the shoulder just aft of where the shoulder meets the neck--my guess is that the case shoulder datum was pushed back too far when sized. Did you use a full-length die--or is this neck-sized? I just did a ladder test of 6.5 grendels using CFE223--it does burn dirty.
Quote:
I blamed poor ignition and gave up on Staball for hunting rounds.
That's odd for Staball compared to my experience with it--I've found it to burn consistently and reliably in a wide variety of conditions and cartridges, and it typically gives me a boost in velocities as well.
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Old December 4, 2021, 07:41 AM   #17
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It may be the culmination of several things.

1) necks need annealed.
2) increased COAL, which increases internal case volume, decreasing pressure.
3) CFE223 is very temp sensitive. Your shooting in colder weather now.
4) CFE223 seems to do best with a magnum primer.

I had issues with CFE223, when i tried it. The 1/2 pound i had left over made a nice lawn fertalizer.
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Old December 4, 2021, 09:10 AM   #18
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stagpanther: That odd ring is from me experimenting with neck turning, probably only a thousandth or little more taken off to try and true up the necks.
I agree I am in colder temps now, but not any colder than when I developed all these CFE223 loads last January, and they all shot fine, even with starting loads of less powder, what screwed me up in a way was the infamous Hornady load manual that has the starting load somewhere around 35 grains, I dont know what they are thinking. But I ended up with these numbers from 100 yd load workups and found my best loads with all three bullets, I am shooting all the same now only trying to prove the best loads at 200 yds, but the sooting is preventing good tests, I think I will get out the chronograph, although I already did that during load workup, and I expect to see numbers all over the place with all that gas escaping.
I think what I will do next is use the ones I didnt shoot, seat 5 of them down to 2.800, what the book calls for and try them, and also seat 5 more of them down to 2.800 coal and put a Lee factory crimp on them and see if anything changes.
Thanks everyone
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Old December 4, 2021, 11:25 AM   #19
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I'd just try it on some new virgin brass. I guess it's possible you may have had erratic starts to the bullet without a good seal of the neck to the chamber--maybe part of the powder charge was following the bullet out the neck before ignition was complete(?) I defer to someone like unclenic to comment if that's even a realistic scenario.
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Old December 4, 2021, 11:31 AM   #20
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Low pressure for sure.

Hardening doesn't change the brass's modulus of elasticity (a measure of how much force is needed to stretch a material). What it does change is how far you have to stretch the brass before you exceed its elastic range and it starts to deform (this increases with hardness), and how far you can stretch the material before it breaks (this decreases with hardness). So, measure your cases before and after firing. If annealing allows them to come out of the chamber bigger (yield point exceeded) than your hard cases do, then it is reducing the sealing pressure. But if the annealed cases come out of the chamber the same size as your work-hardened cases do, then it isn't making any difference.
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Old December 4, 2021, 12:25 PM   #21
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std7mag:, I'm starting to want to do what you did with this powder, but, dang!, I just bought 5 pounds of this a month ago and I'm going to try whatever I can to see if I can make it work, maybe I will have to use it in my AR-15 or my Savage 223 bolt gun.
I think someday I should get into annealing Unclenick, just I dont have one right now, thanks.
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Old December 4, 2021, 12:41 PM   #22
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Lugerstew,

I am pointing out you likely don't need to anneal because brass properties are such that it is unlikely to change what pressure level makes the case seal the chamber. I could be wrong if your chamber is very big, so I mentioned a way of testing to prove it by comparing annealed with unannealed worked brass fired in your chamber. But you would get the same information comparing the fired size of a new, never-previously-fired case to one of your older cases. Check the neck diameter in particular. If the new case is bigger, then annealing might help.
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Old December 4, 2021, 01:47 PM   #23
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Ya, in addition to shortening the coal and also adding a lee factory crimp, if that didnt change anything, then my next step was to reload some of these in new brass, and I will definitely measure them after shooting and compare the size of the neck, and shoulder growth from the new cases to the ones I am suspecting are over work hardened.
Thanks again
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Old December 4, 2021, 05:40 PM   #24
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don't dump it, it works great in .223 Rems and 6.5 Grendel.Or just bump that charge up
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Old December 4, 2021, 10:45 PM   #25
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Stagpanther
I may try Staball in a 6.5 CM. I tried two different times with the stuff in 243, same results. It was surprising as the product is advertised as consistent at extreme Temps.
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